“Speak Out” is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Scott Dempsey.
“Much of the WBTV viewing area is considered rural, so it got our attention when the National Rural Health Association said, “…decades of efforts to protect rural patients’ access to care could rapidly be undone” in response to the proposed Senate healthcare bill aiming to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare.
Novant Health CEO Carl Armato recently declared “the government must continue to help lower the cost of health care that millions of lower-income Americans receive.” Without certain pieces of the Affordable Care Act, he predicts an overall decline in community health because patients will be unable to afford the care they need – and everyone, not just the rural communities, but every community will face higher costs.
We’re concerned rural hospitals will be affected more than others with the Senate’s proposed bill. Compared to urban hospitals, they serve patients who require more healthcare services – and are more likely to be uninsured or underinsured. If rural hospitals do not get the government support they need, they will be forced to close. And, if they close, rural Americans will find themselves with even fewer options. Our leaders must especially consider our rural communities as this debate continues.”
Tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com.